Perfection To A Fault: A Small Murder in Ossipee, New Hampshire, 1916

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9780970551009: Perfection To A Fault: A Small Murder in Ossipee, New Hampshire, 1916
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Voted "Best in New Hampshire" by New Hampshire Magazine and was a featured segment on WCVB-TV Boston's Chronicle.

"Petrie vividly re-creates the circumstances and aftermath of an early 20th-century murder in this true-crime book. Exhaustive detail and flawless re-creations make for real suspense in this nonfiction tale." - Kirkus Reviews

“Petrie expertly puts details into historical context and annotates each chapter with newspaper and court documentation. Written in 2000 but even more intriguing as the 100th anniversary of the crime approaches, this thorough account will appeal to fans of true crime.”- Publisher’s Weekly

This second printing of "Perfection To A Fault" is the exact same story that was so favorably reviewed by Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, among others. A new cover design and a much requested Photo Gallery were added, as the 100th anniversary of the story approaches. This book is the non-fiction account of the events which encompassed a murder and trial at the turn of the century in Ossipee, New Hampshire. When Florence Small's smoldering body rose to the surface of the basement water, local folks immediately suspected her husband of the crime. Frederick Small was an outsider, a Boston man, who had moved to Ossipee Lake to semi-retire. There was a deep distrust of "city fellas up there behind the Ossipees," in 1916 and perhaps this suspicion was warranted. But how could Frederick have been responsible for a murder and a fire that happened 7 hours after he had left for Boston on a business trip? The sensational trial that followed was unlike any previously experienced in Carroll County. And although everybody from the Boston area to Portland, Maine, had an opinion, nobody anticipated the decision the jury would reach. The unrest on the ill-fated property remained even in 1956, when Anna Foley's unsuspecting son and daughter-in-law felt the effects of the events of 1916 one August night while vacationing on the property.

The Manchester Leader and Evening Union newspaper wrote in anticipation of a verdict, "If the state has proved its case, it has developed a new type of New Hampshire criminal. It has brought forth a cool, daring, mechanical and chemical genius, a man who scorned the ordinary forms of murder but who brought forth to the mountains of this quiet village a science which would baffle a Craig Kennedy or Sherlock Holmes. The jury of his peers will decide whether Frederick L. Small is that man or the normal individual who has been made a victim of circumstances and is being tried for a crime which he never committed and of which he had no knowledge."

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About the Author:

Author and illustrator Janice S. C. Petrie has written one book for the adult and young adult audience entitled, Perfection To A Fault: A Small Murder in Ossipee, New Hampshire, 1916 and three children's books for ages four through ten entitled, The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab, Did You Make the Hole in the Shell in the Sea?, and Something's Tugging on My Claw!

Petrie is a certified teacher who has earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees in the field of education, with a concentration in reading. Petrie also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, with a graphic design concentration.

Petrie first learned about coastal marine life from working as an Outreach Specialist at the New England Aquarium. Since then, she s spent years caring for these intriguing sea animals, and teaching children and adults about the habitat and sea life commonly found near the shore. The material covered in her children's stories are topics commonly taught by Petrie in her sea animal programs.

In her free time, Petrie made many trips to the Ossipee, New Hampshire area to visit with the Ossipee Historical Society, the Carroll County Courthouse, and the Concord State Library, trying to piece together the events of 1916 that kept everyone mesmerized while the tragic story was unfolding, yet was seldom mentioned years later. She gained interest in this story after learning the cottage she spent a single night vacationing in as a baby, seemed to be occupied by an unsettling presence.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The simple cottage didn't possess the ominous appearance Joe Foley had expected as he surveyed the property from across the street. Joe always thought that a lakefront cottage on the shores of Lake Ossipee, New Hampshire, would be out of reach financially, and couldn't believe his good fortune as he eyed the prime real estate. When a friend who worked with Joe at the "Good Gulf" Oil Company in Boston approached him with news of the unbelievable deal he could get on a cottage just 140 miles north of Boston, Joe jumped at the chance. Joe always enjoyed a bargain, and the property was actually in fairly good shape. His friend was very candid in explaining why this cottage was such a buy, when similar lakefront cottages in 1955 were being appraised for far more than an asking price of $2,300. But the fact that some poor woman was murdered in the cottage at the turn of the century was of little interest to Joe. A bargain held far more weight for Joe than a memory, whether pleasant or horrific.

"Spare me the details," Joe was heard to say, and the papers were passed within the week.

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